"Talia," I thought, "you don’t belong here."
Sitting five pews back from the pulpit I listened attentively to the Pastor.
I was with people, many who had, or were studying for, their Ph.D.’s.
I was often intimidated.
I didn’t speak at church-sponsored classes.
I didn’t read scripture aloud for fear of incorrectly pronouncing a word or sounding stupid.
I sat quietly.
I had never had such instructions and direction for my life.
But now I read the Bible constantly and I understood it.
I wanted to pray all day long.
I was the first one to church, and most times the last to leave.
And I learned that I had a lot of work to do.
Like the box of cassettes.
It was more difficult than giving up sex.
I looked through the box, remembering certain songs.
Like the Notorious B.I.G.’s, "The Warning."
Music gave me words for what I felt.
How could I throw away what had been my savior for so long?
Free of emotional attachment, he took the box downstairs.
It felt like a funeral. I mourned.
I thought of all the money I spent on those tapes and CDs.
I heard Danny open the door.
I stood by the window and peeked out.
He walked to the dumpster and tossed in the box.
I heard my beloved tapes clanking against the dumpster’s metal.
Next, it was the skirt.
I didn’t own one but I noticed the women at the church either wore dresses or skirts.
I went to the Salvation Army and brought a skirt.
I took it home, washed it, and hung it in the closet, determined to wear it to church on Sunday.
On Sunday I woke up, went to the closet to get my clothes to iron, and reached past the skirt for a pair old jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. I had to smile.